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  1. #1
    bust a move
    Reputation: 2ridealot's Avatar
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    Cycling passion, An epic vacation, 18 months and a strong commitment

    I am not a writer but I would like to tell my story of my waking up to some realities of my life.

    I have suffered from justifying and rationalizing many things in my life in order to not truly deal with them. One of these things is my weight. I started to get chubby in my early teens and was 200 lbs by the time I was 17. I have always thought I looked fat in the mirror but I was told by many people that I wasn't fat and didn't look fat. I spent roughly the next 35 years weighing between 215 and 238 lbs on a 6ft frame knowing I was overweight and being less healthy than I should have been. I had truly accepted the extra weight as okay and just a part of who I was.

    For many years my wife and I have dreamed, imagined and talked about taking a vacation that would involve seeing many great national treasures like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc. and of course go ride some of the great mtb locations along the way. Well, the planets finally aligned for us around spring 2011 so that we both were able to get the time off from work necessary and have the extra funds available to put the epic vacation plans into place. So, in late May 2011 we began to seriously put everything together like combining some awesome mtb riding spots with visiting National parks, logistics, reservations and the like. Once most of the major trip plans were made, I found myself a few weeks later thinking about how this 51 y/o, 233 lb, mostly FL riding, weekend warrior was going to receive an ugly beatdown once I actually have to ride real western mountains for the first time (I've read the accounts of many others who've done the same...not pretty).

    I did have a decent level of fitness as my wife and I started riding bikes 3 to 4 days a week for over a decade earlier. The problem was I had also adjusted my calories upward to compensate for the extra exercise. As of the second week of June 2011, I started on a year long effort to get in really good shape for the big vacation. I knew I would lose some weight but the real focus was on going to be on fitness. I began to ride my bike(s) almost every day and for longer rides than ever before. By years end, I had pedaled almost 5500 miles and had lost appx. 20 lbs and was seeing big gains in strength and endurance. On January 1 2012, I weighed 212 lbs and was riding every day, feeling great and on my way to reaching the goal. Fast forward to May 26 2012, the day we left on vacation, I weighed 184 lbs and I had ridden over 4000 miles up to that point in the year and went on to have the awesome vacation (I linked the vlog my wife made of the trip at the bottom of this post) I hoped for and the fitness to match. Ironically, I rode less in those 22 days than I had at any point of the year and came back home only to realize that I still had the same interest in riding everyday as I had before the trip. I kept up with the riding all through the summer and fall and continued to get fitter and lighter.

    Well, the year is now over and I have really found out some things about myself. I found that for the first time in my life, I believed in what I wanted and I made the commitment to do what was necessary to see it through. I have pedaled 3 bikes a total of 10,600 miles in appx. 690 hrs. averaging 29.04 miles/1.91 hrs per day. I rode 350 days this year. Weight loss for 2012 was 48 lbs and total weight loss for the 18 months was 70 lbs. I also found out that I have much more mental toughness/ability to suffer than I thought previously. This fall I signed up for, completed and enjoyed my first two century road rides.

    I never set out to lose weight and I think that is why I succeeded. It was only after I committed to my fitness goals that I started to see and appreciate the weight loss. At some point I felt invested in all the work and began to make significant changes in what, when and how much I was eating. I have maintained my weight under 170 lbs for 2 months now and I am hopeful but not unrealistic about my odds of keeping the pounds off in the future. People who have known me for a long time think I look bad now, like I have an illness (one friend actually said I look like I have aids). Kind of funny how people think you look healthier when you are fat. The other funny thing is that I was always hot when I was fat and now I go around cold all the time.

    I share my story in hopes that it will help someone realize that they can be successful even if you have failed many times before. Staying committed to the goal was the key. I also have to say a huge THANK YOU to my wife, family and everyone else who put up with me and all the crazy hours I spent doing this very selfish thing. Also, Thank you to the MTBR members who have helped me with questions and concerns that I have had through out the year.

    2012 miles per bike:
    Road bike = 8016 miles
    Rigid 29er SS = 1389 miles
    F/S mtb = 1195 miles

    Vacation vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhG9Skd0jpk
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cycling passion, An epic vacation, 18 months and a strong commitment-picture-171.jpg  

    Cycling passion, An epic vacation, 18 months and a strong commitment-sam_2212.jpg  

    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  2. #2
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    Reputation: brettj5's Avatar
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    Nice job!! I started riding to lose weight and fell in love with riding.

  3. #3
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    2ridealot fantastic accomplishment! Here's to many, many more miles in 2013!

  4. #4
    V-Shaped Rut
    Reputation: big_slacker's Avatar
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    Badass story. Health is so much more than a number on a scale as you have proven. Get out and play, the rest often takes care of itself!

  5. #5
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    Reputation: rossluzz's Avatar
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    Very impressive!

  6. #6
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    Congrats on the change of lifestyle. I am 1 year into riding, and started at 6'1" and 265lbs. I am now down to 237, and haven't changed my eating habits yet. I wanted to get into biking shape by riding first, and then work on cutting back and eating the right things.

    I plan to start eating better as a new years resolution, and I want to start riding more. I always get in one 2 hour ride per week, and sometimes more, but I want to ride at least 3 days a week. I hope to end up around 185 or 190, but 200 by the end of 2013 is my goal. I thought I would gain weight over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays, but I actually continued to lose.

    I would love to have a chance for the extended vacation, but I don't see it in the cards for the next few years anyway.
    2011 Trek Rumblefish 1

  7. #7
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    Great story, thanks for sharing!

    Think Big. Have Fun. Act Now.
    Guillaume

  8. #8
    Serenity now!
    Reputation: PixieChik's Avatar
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    First of all, I think you look really healthy, not sick at all. I am a healthcare professional and I have a sixth sense for sickness. Brother, you don't have The Look. You look lean and mean. It's weird how people get a mental picture of others which is hard to revise when things change.

    We have such a skewed idea of a healthy weight in this country. If you look back at pictures of American high school and college students from a few decades ago, they were much thinner. Even most of the adults 40 years ago were downright skinny by today's standards.

    Secondly, I love your balls-to-the-wall commitment to a BHAG (big hairy-ass goal). Great job on your accomplishment; it must feel fantastic.
    Duchess of Dab

  9. #9
    Is not amused
    Reputation: Hutch3637's Avatar
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    Great work man. Awesome story and accomplishment even if it wasn't your goal. That's a lot of miles which lead to the weight drop. Happy New Year and thanks for sharing!
    Yip yip yip nope nope nope

  10. #10
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    Very inspiring! Great story and thank you for sharing!!

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
    Tossin the salad.
    Reputation: TX_Shifter's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your story!

    I know I can pass this around to a few folks I know that may need this and get some motivation!! God Bless you are your new way to a healthier lifestyle!!

    I'm almost there too!!
    Santa Cruz Tallboy
    Giant Trance

  12. #12
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    It's easy to stay warm. I weigh 148 and am a 6' AZ skier. Just wear merino wool as a base layer.
    agmtb

  13. #13
    Ride More, Whine Less
    Reputation: heyyall's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the life changing experience. You are an inspiration.

  14. #14
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
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    Great story!
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  15. #15
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    Great to see someone go beyond the excuses and make it happen. What's the story with your leg, looks like one more reason to stay home!! (sarcasm)

    I'm almost done with grad school, similarly made the commitment, and forged forward. It can be done!

    Good on ya!

  16. #16
    bust a move
    Reputation: 2ridealot's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the kind words


    SlowMTBer, Nice work! You are well on your way...stay after it.


    Quote Originally Posted by flatfendershop View Post
    What's the story with your leg
    I had a below knee amputation 21 years ago after being diagnosed with sarcoma cancer in my left foot. Sometimes life throws nasty stuff at us and that was some of mine. I try not to let it hold me back.too much
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    What a great story and props to you. 10,000 miles +
    is serious riding.

  18. #18
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    thanks for posting, the pictures say so much. great job and you must be so proud of yourself. and yes friends will be shocked with your transformation and you probably look around you each day and think how overweight everyone looks. it's interesting watching 60s, 70 television series from the US, people were much more skinnier back then. enjoy the ride.!!

  19. #19
    DIY all the way
    Reputation: Mr.Magura's Avatar
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    That was a very good vid you made there.

    I was wondering if 35 minutes would be boring, but gave it a shot anyway.
    Turned out to get some thoughts going, and an amazingly well told story.

    Thanks


    Magura

  20. #20
    mtbr member
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    Congratulations on your achievements and sharing an inspiring story!

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: olijay's Avatar
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    Congratulations and thanks for the inspiration! Btw you do NOT look 51, good job!

  22. #22
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    What a beautiful start to the new year. To hear how you have overcome a difficult past, friends who made hurtful comments, & self esteem that has now grown strong in your soul. I admire what you have done. You look fantastic for your age & I am certain your Mrs is behind you. Life is precious and you have made memorable moments.

    Take great care enjoy riding, be inspired by others like the French 100yr old who rode 100kms in France.

  23. #23
    pin it
    Reputation: cyclelicious's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing your story C, which is a snapshot of your incredible life and accomplishments

    Your story is truly inspirational for others (inclusing myself) and proves just what someone can achieve when motivated by love . It's a bonus when you have a supportive relationship

    Keep riding!
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  24. #24
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    That is badass. GREAT story. You obviously have something going on with your left leg in those photos...is that a prosthetic?

    The only downside to this story is that I now feel like a complete slacker as I sit here doing nothing...

  25. #25
    V-Shaped Rut
    Reputation: big_slacker's Avatar
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    Exactly, I didn't catch the part when I read the post initially, but I've had similar comments from friends and family including the AIDS and concentration camp stuff. In our modern world people are so used to looking at folks with layers of fat covering them that they've forgotten what healthy looks like. Keep setting a good example OP!

    Quote Originally Posted by PixieChik View Post
    First of all, I think you look really healthy, not sick at all. I am a healthcare professional and I have a sixth sense for sickness. Brother, you don't have The Look. You look lean and mean. It's weird how people get a mental picture of others which is hard to revise when things change.

    We have such a skewed idea of a healthy weight in this country. If you look back at pictures of American high school and college students from a few decades ago, they were much thinner. Even most of the adults 40 years ago were downright skinny by today's standards.

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